Buying or leasing your own semi-truck and driving as a contractor may sound enticing. You get to choose your own jobs and work when you want. However, it can be a big responsibility and the cost risk can be high. This makes the decision to get your own truck or to work for another company challenging. To help you make your decision, here are a few considerations.
The Benefits of Leasing Your Own Semi Truck
If you want to start your own business in the trucking industry, leasing a truck may be a good option. You can lease a day-trip semi-truck or an overnight trip semi-truck that is outfitted with a bed and in some cases, an entire kitchen. Depending on the type of work you plan on doing, along with the weight of the freight you may plan on loading, you can have the confidence that the truck fits your needs. If you’ve ever seen a night cab remodel then you know that there are a lot of options when it comes to multi-day freight lines. You could have an entire entertainment center with surround sound in your night cab making for life as glamorous as those living in fancy lofts.
You also get to drive your own business, which means that you have more freedom in controlling which loads you take and when you take time off. If you’re an experienced driver, then it is likely that you know what it feels like to be under pressure to get freight to where it needs to go. However, as the business owner, you can set expectations with the company that you are transporting goods to directly. Though you still need to make good business decisions, this can decrease the pressure you feel to drive through the night when you know you should pull into a rest stop.
You can also choose to work for an employer while leasing your own truck. These may not be as common but when these types of jobs do happen, you will get higher pay since you are taking your own truck instead of using a company truck.
The Costs of Leasing Your Own Semi Truck
First off, the cost of leasing a truck is not cheap. If you lease one for one year, it will cost around $20,000-30,000 for a new truck or roughly half that for a used one. That may seem like a lot of money, but when you look at the costs of owning your own semi- over time, it’s much more expensive. The cost to maintain a truck is around $15,000 a year. That would be an average expense per year of $35,000-45,000. In addition to that, there are other expenses that come with owning your own business. The investment in gas and maintenance can add up quickly if you are not planning ahead.
Considerations for Leasing Your Own Semi Truck
There are many factors to consider when you’re deciding whether or not to lease your own semi-truck. The first is the cost. You’ll need money upfront to lease a truck, as well as money for fuel and maintenance. These expenses could get expensive quickly.
You’ll also have to pay for insurance for your semi-truck if it isn’t provided by your leasing company or by your employer (if you choose to work for someone else). Insurance rates can vary from $3,000-to $5,000 per year depending on how much liability coverage you want and which state you live in.
Considerations for Working for a Company
If you work for a company, there are many benefits. You don’t have to worry about the truck maintenance, driving the truck, and insurance. There are often multiple CDL truck driver positions at a company including day driving and overnight driving positions. This is something that you get to choose when applying for a position. When you work for a company, it’s all taken care of by them. The only thing you need to do is make sure your truck is safe and ready to go when it’s needed. Additionally, most companies will pay for your license schooling so this may be the ideal option if you don’t have experience driving.
In addition, if anything goes wrong with your truck or something happens–the company pays for it all.
Which is better?
Leasing a truck is more expensive than driving for a company. When you lease, you have to think about the cost of the truck, the cost of the maintenance, and insurance premiums. You also have to consider additional costs like fuel, tolls, and parking.
Driving for a company can be cheaper in many ways because you don’t have to worry about all those extra expenses–it’s all taken care of for you. But this doesn’t mean that driving for a company is always better than leasing your own semi-truck; it just depends on your situation and needs.
As an employee, you may not have as much flexibility with your schedule as someone who leases their own truck and works for themselves would. But there are also some perks that come with working for an employer like healthcare coverage and retirement benefits.
Choosing to lease your own truck or to work with a company for distribution is a personal choice that a driver needs to make based on their own circumstances. Leasing a truck and being employed by a company is also an option. In some cases, you may even find that the employer helps out with some of the leasing expenses, such as fuel and some maintenance. It’s important to explore all options and thoroughly research them before making a decision.